When we were considering the notion of our new Campaign Promo, the thought stemmed from the idea we had seen requested on multiple forums and feedback from our own clients. For us, it wasn’t as simple as creating a package similar to a 3 or 5-day advertisement only extended further out. We wanted something that would be both unique and affordable. Something our clients would understand as more than just an extended site promotion for their eBook.

Affordability is always our first concern. Many new ideas for promotional features have been considered during our company’s Round-Table brainstorming sessions, but most of those fall away when we consider the expense (both upfront and ongoing) of providing them to our clients. Affordability is our first rule. It’s why HotZippy was founded and it remains our guiding principle.

Next we had to consider our other user base, the communities of readers. It’s always at the forefront of our minds the notion that just because you offer a service to people free of charge that you don’t have as much control over how many paid advertisements they see. You can force your will of course, but when they’ve had enough, they begin to find other resources that are more user-friendly (read; lighter on the paid advertising) and there is never a shortage of new upstarts always eager and ready to take advantage of your consumers’ unhappiness. So we need to make sure we wouldn’t saturate the reader community with too many repetitive advertisements.

Campaign Beta

The next provision was for manpower. This is always a delicate balance when running a business that must remain lean to remain profitable. If a 2-day promotion takes an average of X amount of time to review, schedule and promote, then a Campaign Promo running 30 days will take 15 times X. Who is going to do the other 14 times the original work? Our promotions aren’t simply listed once on the site(s)’ homepage and allowed to linger for a certain number of days (according to the promotion type and days purchased) and allowed to wither over time. Our promotions, each and every one, are crafted by hand and added newly each day the paid promotion is run. What good is spending your marketing budget entirely on a say, a 90-day promotion, only to have it fall to the bottom of the promotional pages and posts? Our Campaign Promos are set-it-and-forget-it for our clients, never for our employees.

Finally, there is the client’s expectations that need to be addressed. A Campaign Promo is for professionals that understand how marketing truly works. The theory that an advertiser should see their full advertising investment returned in the form of sales is something unique to eBook promoters and not a realistic end result. There are a small handful of promoters that might accomplish this due to the sheer size of their reach but they are the exceptions to the general rule of marketing. For example, when Coca Cola spends $1,000,000 to make a television ad and then spends an additional $3,000,000 to run the same ad during the big game, the company does not expect that they will sell $4,000,000 worth of Coca Cola products over the next few days to regain their investment. All businesses (at least until congress gets what they’ve recently been pushing for) can expense advertising in full on their taxes. If money spent on marketing = 100% money regained in sales, then there would be little or no available expensing deduction in taxes to offset the usual losses that accompany advertising. It’s the same for any promotional site you book an advertisement with. The marketing services they use to promote your title is well below what they spend, otherwise pretty much every author who used these services would be at the top of their respective selling lists. Another simple reference for this is Facebook advertising. It can cost around $2 or more for each new follower you get. So you spend $2,000 to gain 1,000 new followers. However, when a post is made on your Facebook business page, it will be throttled to reach 1% of your businesses followers. So while you’ve spent $2,000 for 1,000 followers only 20 of them will receive your post. In the end, that means you’ve spent $2,000 to promote to 20 people, unless of course you pay Facebook even more money to reach the people you’ve already paid them to follow you. This is the nature of the marketing beast and the Campaign Promo would need to be understood as a true marketing vehicle rather than a 1:1 return on investment.

Our final corporate decision, after taking all the above points into concern, was to release the Campaign Promo as a beta plan with only a 30-day promotion to begin with. This addresses our affordability concerns (30-day plans start from $337 for a single book on a single promotional site), a chance to study the reader community response and the best vehicle to market the promoted title to them, the maximum overhead in system resources and manpower that can financially be achieved and our ability to hopefully sell the product to the right kind of marketing author or publisher.

Over the next few months we’ll monitor the environment from both sides of our business (advertiser and reader) and see how things shake out. If we’re successful, as we hope we will be, we may begin to roll out other Campaign Promos that run as long as 6 months to a year. If you’re interested in something longer than 30-days, for now please remain patient as we discover how well this initial beta program performs.

--The HotZippy Team